Saturday, January 26, 2008

Municipalities Censor Pro-Lifers

Pro-life posters are not welcome in the bus shelters of at least three cities - Kelowna, BC,
Hamilton, Ontario and Fredericton, New Brunswick. In Hamilton, the posters were removed after some of them got vandalized; the city transit director Don Hull and the Councillor Brian McHattie found that to be a good excuse. In Kelowna and Fredericton, the City Hall simply found the ads too controversial to be put on bus shelters.

No those weren't posters picturing what's left of a baby after abortion. The posters were similar to the one shown on the picture - feating the profile of a pregnant woman with an illustration of an unborn baby in her womb. The text simply stated a few facts - that human heart begins to beat 22 days after conception and that in Canada that heartbeat can be stopped up until birth - with no medical reason necessary. Finally there is a question - "Abortion. Have we gone too far?" It provokes thought (as any advertising ought to) but only radical secular fundamentalists would find that offensive.
But Mayor Brad Woodside stands by the decision made by city staff and contends that a public bus stop isn't the right venue for such a contentious and political debate.

"We don't want to bring that divisiveness to a public space where people are coming to wait for a bus," he said.
Apparently Mr. Woodside still holds a grudge against pro-lifers, after a pro-life group Show The Truth got him upset with a few graphic pictures back in the summer of 2006. Since the subsequent attempt by the Fredericton Police Force to charge Suzie Ryan with "displaying obscene material" for protesting outside of the Morguentaller's abortuary was unsuccessful (Suzie had nothing to do with Show the Truth and she wasn't displaying any graphic pictures), the city apparently decided to block fetal rights debate on a technicality.

Fortunately, there will be municipal elections held all across New Brunswick in less than 4 months. The least we can do is to make sure Woodside & Co don't get our votes.

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